It’s hard to believe the Victorian government would prosecute people for exposing rainforest logging, but that’s precisely what they’ve done.
GECO campaigners Ed Hill and Joe Henderson appeared in the Orbost Magistrates Court today. They’ve been charged with entering a logging area. It is alleged they did so to document and expose logging of protected rainforest.
The Victorian Environment Department held an investigation which concluded that an area of protected rainforest had been subject to ‘unwarranted destruction’ by loggers under the control of VicForests.
The authorities found that the rainforest area should not have been logged, but decided not to prosecute those responsible.
However, the Department has now charged those who made the complaint. They allege the community members concerned went on to the logging area when not authorised - albeit when no work was being carried out, and in order to find that logging laws had been breached.
Lawyers from Environment Justice Australia and Fitzroy Legal Service are representing Ed and Joe. Today’s hearing was a procedural one that set a date for a further hearing on 27 July 2016.
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